Three years ago, the eminent civil rights historian Taylor Branch wrote a scathing essay in The Atlantic that compared college athletics to slavery. In that piece, he wrote that college sports carried with it “the unmistakeable whiff of the plantation.” Comparisons to slavery cannot be brought lightly, of course. This is not Kristallnacht after all.
Three years later, the plantation house still stands. As if we are taking a remedial class taught by Howard Zinn, we now arrive at organized labor. This week, it was reported that members of Northwestern University’s football team had filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board in order to be recognized as a labor union. If successful, communism.
Whether you believe that college football players should be granted fifteen minute smoke breaks every four hours or not, I think it’s safe to say that we all fervently pray for the day that the NCAA perishes after a long, yet valiant, struggle with butt cancer. Because of that, there were very few outright denunciations of Northwestern University’s actions in the media this week. Still, let’s get a lay of the land, shall we?
Let’s talk Samuel Gompers. Let’s talk Hoffa. Let’s talk sports….
Drugs make people stupid. It’s not that they impair important mental faculties in those who ingest them. Rather, they make everyone who doesn’t do them freak the everloving fudge out about them. People will literally believe anything you have to say about drugs. Drugs are like satanism was in the 1980s or religion was in the every other decade: if you are confronted with some unexplained phenomenon, drugs will help you fill in the gaps of your embarrassing ignorance. This week, for instance, we learned that one baseball writer chose to leave Greg Maddux’s name off his Hall of Fame ballot. Why? Because steroids. Confronted with an admittedly complicated issue like steroids, the writer chose to go Simple Jack on the whole process. Drugs, man.
But the idiotic baseball writer isn’t the only one whose brain bananas were agog over drugs this week. This week, we were treated to a college player’s lame excuse and a football conference’s dumb rule. Also, OJ Simpson. And the always-fantastic handwritten musings of a pro se petitioner.
If you’re an attorney, have gone to law school, or are going to law school, you have seen the deposition in which Joe Jamail threatens to knock some geriatric chemist’s dick in the dirt. It’s stunning not because it’s surprising but, rather, because it is exactly what you expect a trial lawyer from Texas to do. When I first watched it, I thought someone had dug up my grandfather’s body and awarded him a posthumous Juris Doctor. The only thing more impressive than Jamail’s language in that deposition was just how nonchalant he was about unfurling his homespun insults. That ain’t your g**d*mned job, fatboy.
Jamail, of course, is famous not only for being a foulmouthed credit to the human race, but also for being paid exorbitant sums of money for his lawyering. This website has spilled a good deal of cyber ink in detailing Jamail’s piles of filthy luchre. And why not!? While the rest of you go about scratching out your bonus-sniffing beta lives, Joe Jamail soars above all that. Love him or hate him, the man crushes you and I in every imaginable category, save wallflowery.
This week, Joe Jamail pumped the brakes on Mack Brown’s exit from Texas. So we get to talk about him. And sports.
The last time someone willingly entered New Jersey.
* New Jersey continues to mint lawyers despite terrible market conditions. Lat told me I should come up with a good Jersey joke. I said that was fairly well-worn territory and I would feel a bit like #498 at the Houston 500. Lat said, “ ” [Newark Star-Ledger]
* The Obama uncle we mentioned earlier this week? Obama’s roommate before Harvard Law. Why won’t Obama produce his rent deposit!? [CNN]
* The men who stole parts of the Porsche Paul Walker died in were arrested yesterday. They will be charged with felony grand theft, tampering with evidence, and living perhaps too fast… too curious? [TMZ]
* Regulators are having a tough time figuring out what to do with the burgeoning Bitcoin market. Numismatists are equally puzzled by this rarest of rare coin markets. [New York Times]
* Jos. A. Bank, the most prestigious clothier in the United States and/or Canada, has been subpoenaed by the Ohio Attorney General. If the Ohio AG deposes one executive, he gets to depose three additional executives for free. [Washington Post]
They told me, if I could sit on the stage so nobody climbed over me, I could drink beer till the show was over.
– Gimme Shelter
Hells Angels are the Kleenex of biker gangs. Sure, there are the Mongols, the Outlaws, the Warlocks, the Diablos, the Cool Ranch Doritos. But all of those gangs take up relatively little space in the collective imagination. And one of those gangs isn’t even a gang. It’s a corn chip!
Anyway, the Angels’ ubiquity in popular culture means that when anyone anywhere thinks of roving gangs of motorcycle-riding degenerates, they think of the Angels. Hunter Thompson, Altamont, Sonny Barger and the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test placed the gang at the forefront of that fashion trend known as the 60s. And as Atticus Finch quipped, “Even bellbottoms need a lawyer.”
So it was that the New York Times banged out an extra-long feature on the gang and their litigious ways over the long weekend.
That last sentence was the closest I could get the words “gang” and “bang” together. Let’s see if I have better luck later in this post….
Shortly after I was hired to write terrible Morning Docket entries for this website, I went to one of those ATL holiday shindigs in New York. Free booze and the chance to hobnob with the kind of people I actively shunned during law school was too great an opportunity to pass up. When I arrived at the bar, I scanned the room for my website superiors. I quickly spotted Lat, breakdancing in front of the jukebox and screaming lines from the movie Chairman of the Board. Perhaps I’ll introduce myself another day, I thought. Elie was a little harder to find. Is that him? What about him? He could be anyone, I said to myself. Trapped in a room of Elie clones.
I began to strike up conversations with everyone.
It wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that I began chatting with a meek, retiring fellow. I had to lean in to hear his thoughts as he spoke in something barely above a whisper. Whenever I asked this man a question, his responses were peppered with equivocations like “Well, I don’t know” or “That’s complicated.” A hard man to pin down, this one. But the elegant subtlety of his opinions intrigued. Enraptured by this humble man’s quiet reserve, I was shocked when he apologized profusely for his poor etiquette and introduced himself. “I’m Elie Mystal.”
Naw, just playing. Yesterday, Elie sent me an email that began “Defend YOUR BOY now! And by “your boy,” I mean Alex Rodriguez.”
For those too young to remember, allow me to explain. It wasn’t until Ryan White that Ronald Reagan even knew what AIDS was. The sick kid from Indiana prompted President Reagan to, in one of his famous fireside chats, declare war on the disease. That war was won two years later with an armistice signed in Paris by emissaries from both warring nations. Anyway, that’s why we have parades all the time now.
Fast forward, like, 70 years, and we arrive at last week. A larcenous little leukemia survivor stole our collective hearts with a day of make-believe so unbelievably rich, the Muppet Babies have considered filing a copyright lawsuit. The child, with a real name no one cares about and the fake name “Batkid,” was allowed to run around the entire city of San Francisco while denizens of that city (mostly homeless bums) pretended that he was a superhero. He rescued a damsel in distress, helped to arrest the Riddler, and finished the day off by murdering the Penguin in cold blood. JKJKJK. The Penguin plot line had something to do with the San Francisco Giants mascot.
Anyway, the sickly little scamp had a helluva day and made everyone feel like a million bucks. All because of pretend.
And no one pretended harder than the U.S. Attorney’s Office….
When I was 9 years old, I had a problem with showers. The problem was that I wasn’t taking them. For whatever reason, it fell to my father to explain the ripeness doctrine to his disgusting and smelly son. I remember the lecture going something like this:
When I was in the Marines, there was one guy who didn’t bathe. After weeks spent humping heavy packs from here to kingdom come, I probably don’t need to tell you how awful a man can get to smelling. We were all 18 and 19 and 20 and not one of us had impeccable hygiene. But the bare minimum we can ask of each other as men, son, is to bathe on a daily basis. What I guess I’m trying to say is that no man is an island. His actions have consequences and this man’s actions led to serious consequences, not the least of which was an odor redolent of hot garbage. Do you understand what I’m saying? Why you need to shower?
“So did that guy ever start showering?”
Sure. But first, we had to throw a blanket over his head and beat the #*$% out of him.
This week, Jonathan Martin attempted to become the heavyweight champion of bullying victims. In the process, macho culture, a sort of blithe racism, violence, workplace norms, and Harvard Law School were put on trial. In Japan, their endomorphs square off in a dohyō. Here, they square off via media leak, tweet, and scores of lawyers.
Whenever the topic of financial profligacy arises, I like to remind the assembled audience of my own rectitude in such matters. Why, I didn’t get a credit card until my second year of law school. Until that point, I had no need for credit. And I still didn’t even after I got the card. A twelve-hundred dollar limit is what they gave me on account of my non-existent credit. But that was alright with me. What in the world would ever possess a person to spend more than a thousand dollars that they didn’t have on hand? Do you know how cheap eggs are? I mean, I know this sounds like quite the non sequitur, but do you know how cheap a carton of eggs is? You can get them for a dollar. Maybe a dollar and change. The only reason I bring this up is they are a tasty source of protein for next-to-no-money at all. And so I ask you, why in the world would you ever need to borrow an enormous sum of money? Why would you spend your money like some drunk, and likely ethnic, sailor on shore leave? Are you compensating for something? I beseech you, are you too good for eggs? No sir, I don’t think I’m better than you with your spendthrift waffle iron ways. I just think you must never have truly learned how to run a tight fiscal ship.
I owe several entities close to a quarter-million dollars because of a Northwestern legal education that led me to… well, this.
* The fiscal impasse in our nation’s capital is over! The government shutdown is over! Obamaphones for everyone!!!!! [Washington Post]
* Tim Geithner was recently deposed as part of a lawsuit alleging that the government bailout of AIG was unconstitutional. Muammar Gaddafi was less recently deposed as part of a coup alleging that his female bodyguards were unconstitutionally sexy. [Fox Business]
* Cory Booker (Yale Law ’97) won a Senate seat last night, promptly bumping Lat from the cover of the next Yale Law alumni magazine. It was the Halloween issue — the annual Boo Haven edition. [ABC News]
* Mark Cuban was acquitted of insider trading charges yesterday. In related news, this basset houndloves fans. [CBS News]
* Brooklyn Law faces a possible debt downgrade from Standard & Poor’s. The school’s unemployed graduates, substandard and poor, have yet to weigh in. [Crain's New York Business]
Ms. JD is hosting their 2nd annual cocktail benefit to raise money for the Global Education Fund. The event will be held on August 21, 2014 at 111 Minna in San Francisco. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to fund the legal educations of four dedicated law students in Uganda who count on our support to continue their studies at Makerere University during the 2014-15 academic year.
The Global Education Fund enable womens in developing countries to pursue legal educations who otherwise would not have access to further education. According to the World Bank, investment in education for girls has one of the highest rates of return to promote development. In Uganda, more than 45% of women over the age of 25 have no schooling at all, and men are more than twice as likely as women to have access to higher education. Together, we can work to end educational inequality. For more information about the program, please visit http://ms-jd.org/programs/global-education-fund/
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).
Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.
There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.